Singapore University of Social Sciences

Literacy, Language and Education

Literacy, Language and Education (TSL555)


TSL555 Literacy, Language and Education provides students with insights into the study of literacy in the Digital Age across a range of disciplines, including: the relation between written and spoken language; the development of pre-school and emergent literacies; and the literacy practices in schools, at home and at work. Special consideration is given to the critical discussion of literacy case studies of relevance to the Singapore education context.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every 2 years
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Defining literacy; People’s notions of literacy
  • Metaphorical conceptualisations of literacy: Literacy (illiteracy) as illness; literacy as a set of skills; literacy as access to knowledge
  • The contemporary study of literacy across a range of disciplines: Written and spoken language; Pre-school and emergent literacy
  • The contemporary study of literacy across a range of disciplines: Learning in schools, at home and at work; literacy and power
  • The social basis of literacy: Literacy events and literacy practices (as situated in broader social relations)
  • Literacy and language: Ways of talking in different situations; ways of reading and interpreting texts; registers and genres
  • The relation between spoken and written language
  • Pre-school literacy: Learning to speak
  • Emergent literacy: Young children learning to read and write
  • Literacy and school practices
  • Adult learning and literacy: Teaching adults to read and write
  • Critical literacy, inequities and power: A critical examination of public usage, media images and educational provisions of literacy

Learning Outcome

  • Differentiate between various meanings of literacy
  • Discuss the study of literacy across a range of disciplines
  • Examine the notion of critical literacy in relation to issues of inequities and power
  • Analyse critically the relation between literacy and language use
  • Critique the notion of pre-school literacy in relation to a case study
  • Assess the notion of emergent literacy in relation to a case study
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